• There was a time when I believed that the best way to curtail the impact of money flowing into our political system was to monitor it. Make sure that campaign contributions and lobbying expenditures were reported quickly and accurately, I reasoned, and journalists and the American public could determine for themselves what they could tolerate.

  • The so-called experts give various fallacious arguments for increasing our military presence in Afghanistan, as follows:

    Win the war against al Qaeda. This makes no sense because the al Qaeda left Afghanistan long ago, and they are quite happy in Morocco, Indonesia, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, etc.

    Liberate the people from the Taliban. But the Taliban are mostly from the Pashtun ethnic group who want to restore their rule in Afghanistan. The Pashtun make up nearly half the population so we are effectively fighting the Afghan people.

  • Regarding the discussion over the change at the lab from United Health Care to Blue Cross Blue Shield NM and the lack of information about it, I have the following observations.

  • The environment, which is everything on earth, constantly struggles to find the right size for a system.

    Sizes that get tried out alternate between being larger and smaller than today’s models.

    A set of parts that must work together as conditions change. Examples of a system are a live animal, a corporation, an agency, a city and a fuel supply chain.

    Nature evolved dinosaurs. The pterosaur, a flying relative of dinosaurs, had a wingspan of 18 meters (60 ft.). By contrast, the wingspan of the World War II British Spitfire aircraft was a mere 11 meters.

  •   State Investment Officer Gary Bland is the latest fall guy in the unraveling cloak of connections and contracts. It wasn’t exactly a surprise.

      The surprise is that Bland lasted this long.

  • University of New Mexico Los Alamos Campus is fiscally autonomous from the UNM-Albuquerque campus. Our fiscal relationship is clearly defined in the following statement: “Under the Operating Agreement between the Board of Regents of the University of New Mexico and the Advisory Board of the University of New Mexico-Los Alamos Campus, no funds of the Albuquerque Campus or any other UNM branch shall be allocated for the support of the Los Alamos Campus.”

  • I love Halloween and love handing out candy to children. The costumes, the excitement, it’s all part of the ambiance of Halloween.

  • Nonprofits pay off for New Mexico  By Ona Porter  Following the close of the 2008 legislative session and in preparation for a special legislative session on health care, New Mexico Youth Organized (NMYO) and Southwest Organizing Project (SWOP) distributed mailers to the constituents of six legislators. The mailers informed constituents about how their legislators were voting on critical issues and provided information about the source of contributions their legislators were receiving from special interests.

  • I don’t think about the world from the point of view of plants very often. I mostly consider our friends in the plant kingdom as the stationary green stuff around me when I’m outdoors and possibly the makings of salad in the summers. 

    But plants are also teaching me a thing or two as I grow older. I’ve taken to planting trees in middle age, I guess because of the emotional connection between trees and spans of time that are beyond those of a human lifetime. Nothing quite satisfies me as much as planting a hardwood.

  • New Mexico has a long history of battling political corruption, dating back to well before statehood.  

  • “I don’t need maternity care.” Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz. lobbed this comment against Sen. Debbie Stabenow’s, D-Mich., efforts to guarantee maternity coverage as a basic benefit in healthcare reform. “Your mom probably did,” Stabenow famously shot back. That exchange and the wave of support that followed for Stabenow’s proposals illustrates how out of step Kyl is with a huge majority of Americans, including those in his own party.

  • I have questions.  The County’s Strategic Goals document specifically calls on us to “Preserve our history.”  What, exactly, does that mean?  Whose history?  Which history?  What history?  Does the period from 1950 - 2000 count, or are we only talking about the Manhattan Project?  What is meant by “preserve?”  “Preserve” what and in what manner?

  • LA Cares has an urgent need and once again is turning to the community for assistance. We are looking for a dedicated volunteer, preferably more than one, to make food box deliveries on the second Friday morning of each month.

       There are approximately 15 clients unable, for a variety of reasons, to pick up their boxes and select from additional items such as breads and vegetables.

  • The Council is preparing to select a site for the next Municipal Building.  Unfortunately, the result of this very important decision is likely to be compromised by an unfortunate urgency.  

    I am not referring to the excellent work done by the Municipal Building Site Selection Steering Committee. They analyzed and deliberated in a methodical manner that is to be commended.  

  • University of New Mexico - Los Alamos Campus is a valued asset to the community in that we provide an affordable, quality education for a diverse population of students.  UNM-LA holds the promise and dedication of promoting learning opportunities that will help students create hope for a brighter future. We at UNM-LA make the college experience exciting and rewarding with small classes, leading edge studies, a flexible schedule to fit your lifestyle, good resources, student activities and advisement throughout coursework.

  •  Call me strange, but I don’t drive a Humvee armed with a 50-caliber gun turret shooting up the neighborhood.

    I don’t engage in mortal combat with 800-pound lizard-people, vaporizing them with crystal swords or energy grenades.

    I don’t fight evil hordes of Planet Zorton, protecting the planet from certain doom. And yet somehow, I manage to cope with the day-to-day existence known to normal people as “life.”

  • In case you haven’t heard, there will be no cost of living increase for Social Security recipients next year. This has spurred outrage and consternation on Capitol Hill. After all, seniors vote in large numbers and are a politically-powerful voting bloc, so efforts to placate senior citizens are usually received favorably in Congress.

  • I have known Penny Granich and her family since 1999.  She worked for me at the Blue Window Bistro as my manager.  She is a great worker.  I got to know her family also at that time.  I have watched as she has struggled to keep afloat after the horrific accident of Dec. 4, 2005.  I was saddened by Tom’s death.  I sat through the trial and was thrilled when her not-guilty verdict was read.  We thought it was finally over.

  • This year is the 400th birthday of science and engineering. It’s an occasion worth noting and giving thanks for because each day those twin disciplines improve the lives of billions of people around the world. (Beyond that, science and engineering are awfully fun, so their total effect is sort of like combining doing good all around the planet with the pure joys of playing chess).

  • Thomas Malthus’ “Essay on the Principle of Population” (1798) predicts that population growth, spurred by societal improvements, eventually will outstrip natural resources leading to universal famine and the demise of civilization. It reasons that population growth is exponential, while growth of food production is linear.